News from the President

Dr. Michele Haney, President

August 2019

August 1-4 Wizard of OZ

August 1-4 Wizard of OZ

Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) Theatre Arts and Dance in collaboration with Westminster Public Schools presented The Wizard of Oz. Audience members were treated to a unique combination of nostalgia for the classic movie and also a new twist for this production—steam punk Oz. A collaborative artistic team from RRCC, Westminster Public Schools, and the professional theatre community in Denver combined their talents over the summer to work with students and community members to create a memorable experience. RRCC engineering students in the IDEA Institute also contributed by creating the imposing Oz head, complete with robotic bells and whistles.

Core Interpreters

August 12 Core Interpreters

CORE Interpreters is launching here in Colorado! A team of sign language interpreters are collaborating to make the field a better place for all. CORE Interpreters exists to provide a space for sign language interpreters to grow their skills and develop a network among other interpreters through mentorship CORE is an innovative and dynamic mentorship program designed to give interpreters at various levels a chance to grow, network, and support each other in developing their skills.

August 13 Welcome Night

Aug 13 Welcome Night

RRCC Lakewood campus launched our 50th anniversary with the 2019-2020 school year at Welcome Night with lots of fun events for new students. With 1,000 people in attendance including friends and family, Student Life and the Rec Center had games, clubs, door prizes, swag, and snacks for attendees.

50th Anniversary Logo

50th Anniversary

Established in 1969, Red Rocks Community College delivers high-quality, affordable education programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates. Red Rocks is the first Community College to offer a master degree in physician assisting as well as a bachelor degree in Water Quality. The College serves over 13,000 students per year online and at campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada. Help us celebrate our 50 years throughout the year with lots of events for students and the community. If you would like to know more about our 50 years visit our website at

July 2019

july 1 2019 RRCC tobacco free

Smoke Free Campus Effective July 1st

On November 2, 2018 the Governor of Colorado enacted an Executive Order making all State owned or leased buildings and grounds 100% tobacco-free. The campuses of the Colorado Community College System are covered by this order. On July 1, 2019 the policy went into effect on the Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) campuses/properties. Smoking and vaping in any form (cigarettes, pipes, water pipes/hookah, electronic smoking devices, etc.) and all other forms of tobacco use (use of chew, snuff, snus, dip, etc.) is prohibited on all properties of RRCC, including in buildings, parking lots, recreational areas, and all areas currently designated for tobacco use. Use is permitted only in areas that are not State/RRCC property.

John Hopkins Team

John Hopkins University Ceremony July 19th

RRCC partnered with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to offer a summer program, Engineering Innovation, for high school students. Students learned to think and problem-solve like engineers as well as have the opportunity to earn JHU credit at RRCC. Over the course of the program, students completed lab activities in civil, chemical, electrical/computer, mechanical engineering, and materials science.

RRCC Recreation Center Birthday Cake

Student Rec Center Turns Two

Red Rocks Community College celebrated the Second Anniversary of the Student Rec Center. The Student Rec Center features cardio machines, weight training area, basketball courts, climbing walls, and fitness classes. This past year the Student Rec Center added personal trainers to their team, received massage chairs, and opened up a Rest and Relaxation room for all of the paid members. Red Rocks Community College believes that in order for students, faculty, and staff to succeed, they need to be happy and healthy.

RRCC Cyber Security Team

Cyber Security Finishes in the Bronze Level

Congratulations to our Cyber Security Team! They did an awesome job at the competition in Singapore. Yoanna Akis, Matt Adrian, Collin Erickson, and Wesley Reeves finished in the bronze level! Many thanks to LogRhythm for making all of this possible.

RRCC Employee Picnic ActivityRRCC Employee Picnic Food

Employee Appreciation Picnic July 24th

Red Rocks Community College recognizes all of the hard work that the faculty, staff, and student workers put in to keeping the college running. In order to show their gratitude, Red Rocks Community College held an Employee Appreciation Picnic on July 24th. Employees got to play games while enjoying food provided by Food Services. 


Gilman International Scholarship

Gilman International Scholarship Award

Two of our students, Hunter Ambrose and Michael Tsarveski have been awarded the Gilman International Scholarship. Hunter Ambrose used her scholarship to study in India to complete her Anthropology of Religion and Buddhism (Philosophy) degree and Michael Tsarveski will be using his scholarship to study International Relations and Russian fluency at the National Research University in Moscow, Russia. Congratulations to them both!


June 2019

RRCC Cyber Security Team Travels to Singapore


RRCC Cyber Security Team Travels to Singapore

Boulder, Co.-based cybersecurity company, LogRhythm, contacted Joe Murdock, the head of the Cybersecurity Team, to offer some generous support. Thanks to LogRhythm, the Red Rocks Community College Cybersecurity Team will be the only U.S. team traveling to Singapore in June to compete in the Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp (CDDC) hackathon. They will be competing against over 600 different teams from various countries. This is an amazing venture and opportunity for our team.

Camp Ember


Camp Ember May 30th - June 2nd

Denver West Metro held Camp Ember for the third year in a row. Camp Ember is a partnership between West Metro, the Arvada Fire Department and Red Rocks Community College that is a 4 day, 3 night immersive introduction to the fire service for young women ages 16-18. The camp is located at the West Metro Training Center, where the young women can practice firefighter skills, including hose movement, and working with live fire.

PA Boot Camp


PA Boot Camp June 3rd - 7th

Each year, the Red Rocks physician assistant students undergo an intensive weeklong, hands on learning experience. Throughout the week students learn procedural skills including suturing, airway management, lumbar puncture, casting and splinting, wound management, and ultrasound. Additionally, students have the opportunity to perform procedural skills on the cadavers including placing chest tubes, central lines, and joint injections. Students also learn about patient consent, how to speak with patients about the procedure in understandable terms, how to practice safe and sterile technique, and work in teams.

Welcome Day at RRCC - Lakewood


Welcome Day June 5th

The Lakewood Campus had their Welcome Day in the Great Hall, providing students the opportunity to speak to staff and faculty regarding which services are open for the summer, where they are currently located, and where they will be once the dust settles.  Students also received free pancakes courtesy of Student Life and were encouraged to participate in a scavenger hunt to enter to win a $500.00 tuition voucher.

Welcome Day RRCC Arvada


Arvada Welcome Day June 5th

The Arvada Campus had their Welcome Day in the Main Hall. New students were able to ask staff and faculty about different services offered on campus, along with information about the different Health Science courses offered at Red Rocks Community College Arvada Campus. Student Life held a cookout for Welcome Day as well.

Roxon Launch Day


Launch Day of Roxon Workshop June 20th

Launch day is here! Arapahoe Community College, Community College of Aurora and Red Rocks Community College sent students to the Rockon workshop at Wallops to learn and train to be the core of our next RockSat-X project.  Students saw their experiments loaded into the sounding rocket after a week of testing and building at Wallops. Launch took place on June 20.

Arvada Kipling Sign


Kipling Sign in Arvada

Check out the new Red Rocks Community College Arvada Campus sign on Kipling!  It can be viewed by traffic on both north and southbound Kipling.  This coupled with the new lettering and lighting on the east side of the campus will be great for marketing our campus.


May 2019



Stem Expo and Spring Art Show

We had a great STEM Expo last week, with the largest participation to date. The expo featured 85 poster submissions and multiple talks. The STEM Expo is an undergraduate research symposium, held at the end of each semester. Students submit abstracts to present their work as either a poster or a talk. Students can present projects completed in a class or through grants, such as Honors or the NASA Space Grant program. Trefny Honors and the Science department host this event each semester to provide students with a professional presentation opportunity. More information and the full program with abstracts is available here:


Dan Macy and Jeremy Beard



Dan Macy and Jeremy Beard were recognized with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Outstanding Colorado Community College Educator Award.  “The program recognizes the top teachers, faculty and staff in the state of Colorado who go above and beyond to support students as they pursue their higher education dreams.” Congratulations to Dan and Jeremy!


Meleia Harsch and Carol Michaelis


President's Award

At the spring 2019 student government meeting, we had the privilege of honoring the heroic acts of Meleia Harsch, an EMT student at RRCC, who saved the life of Leslie Maddox. Also recognized with a President's Award was Carol Von Michaelis, a member of the Physician Assistant's faculty, who was also on the scene of the April 25th horrific accident on I-70. Carol helped with triage and field mobilization before and during the first responders’ arrival. Thank you both for your remarkable actions.


Frankie Hernandez


Frankie Hernandez

Award-winning film and television producer, Frankie Hernandez, held an open forum titled, The Entertainment Industry to share her story of growing up in East L.A. and how she found herself through the other side of heartbreak after learning to use writing as an outlet. After her open forum, Frankie Hernandez held a workshop to help students find their "brand” through writing and sharing experiences with each other.


Denver Metro Water Festivals 2019


Denver Metro and Aurora Youth Water Festivals

Our theatre arts students performed for over 3,000 6th graders over the course of two days as part of the Denver Metro Water Festival and Aurora Youth Water Festival. The festival offered engaging, hands-on lessons and activities to encourage students to take an active role in water conservation, provide students with the tools they need to bring wise water use to their communities, and complement classroom water units by addressing Colorado Academic Standards, particularly for science.


2019 Law Enforcement Academy Graduation


Law Enforcement Academy Graduation

Congratulations to the Spring Law Enforcement Academy Class of 2019! We are honored to have been a part of your education and wish you success and safety throughout your career in the law enforcement field. Thank you to all of the family, friends, loved ones, administration, and law enforcement agencies who came out to support our graduates! We couldn't do it without you!


Graduation 2019


Graduation 2019

Congratulations to the Red Rocks Community College Class of 2019! We commend you on your hard work and your dedication. We wish you luck and goodwill in your life outside of RRCC. This was the 49th class of Red Rocks Community College. We are honored that CCCS President Joe Garcia officiated graduation this year. We are also very proud to announce that 10 high school students graduated from our pilot AA/HS (Associate of Arts/High School). This program will allow high school students to earn their Associate degree and high school diploma at the same time.  Currently, the WT participating programs are: Welding, Precision Machining, and Power Equipment/Sports Vehicle Technology.  Other programs may be added in the upcoming semesters.


April 2019

When I Rise I Thrive Author Panel

Photo credit: Alex Gladsjo - RRCC student photographer


When I Rise I Thrive Author Panel

On April 4, Red Rocks Community College hosted an author panel featuring five authors from the bestselling book, When I Rise I Thrive, including RRCC student Dina Gilmore. Each author shared their personal stories of struggle and healing, with hopes to inspire the audience to do the same. Following the reading, the authors participated in a Q&A session and a book signing.


National Veteran Honor Society


SALUTE National Veteran Honor Society Induction Ceremony

On April 5, the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society held an induction ceremony for Red Rocks Community College students who are veterans enrolled in at least 12 credit hours and have maintained a 3.0 or higher GPA. The student veterans that are graduating also received red, white, and blue honor cords.


Gateway Arvada Ridge Ribbon Cutting


Gateway Arvada Ridge Ribbon Cutting

Gateway Arvada Ridge Apartments held a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 8 with Red Rocks Community College in attendance. The apartments are located across the street from the Arvada Campus and are offering application and move-in specials for all Red Rocks Community College students, faculty, and staff.





President of the Year and Rising Star Awards

The Colorado Community College System honored Dr. Michele Haney with the President of the Year award on April 9. The Colorado Community College System also honored James Cook and Sarah Kidder, two students of Red Rocks Community College,with the Rising Star award.


Commitment to Excellence Awards

The Colorado Community College System held the inaugural Commitment to Excellence Award Ceremony on April 10 at the Governors Residence. The four awarded RRCC recipients were Mike Coste, Janet Tarase, Greg Berry, and Walter Shreibman.


Theatre Fundraising Event


Theatre Fundraising Event

On April 12, the Red Rocks Community College Theatre and Dance Department hosted a fundraising event for the students selected to attend the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February. While at the competition, the students were selected to attend the prestigious Stella Adler Studio of Acting over the summer. All proceeds donated at the event were received by the Red Rocks Community College Foundation in support of the Theatre students. If you would like to donate, please visit Please indicate in the notes section that your donation is for the Theatre Arts Department or the KCACTF Fundraiser.


The Amazing Race


The Amazing Race

Red Rocks Community College hosted 30 deaf and hard of hearing students who participated in "The Amazing Race" on March 12. This was an opportunity for students to become familiar with our campus. Students visited multiple departments such as Accessibility Services, Assessment, Bookstore, Campus Police, Learning Commons, Library, Admissions/Advising, The Hub, and Student Life. As part of the event, students visited each location on campus to collect information and received clues as to what the next stop might be.


Two deaf celebrities made appearances at the event: Kenny Walker, who played for the Denver Broncos from 1991-92, and Luke Adams, who was a contestant on the television show The Amazing Race 14.


March 2019

Rigoberta Menchu Tum visit


Peace Jam | Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Red Rocks Community College hosted the PeaceJam Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference and Community Gathering March 16th – 18th called, “We Walk Together”. Mentors taught youth participants to take action in making positive impacts on the world through fun workshops. It began on Friday with Nobel Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu Tum as the honored guest speaker, who held a conference just for staff and RRCC students at the Lakewood Campus followed by a Q&A session. On Saturday, Rigoberta spoke to hundreds of students ranging from 3rd – 12th grade, college mentors, community leaders, and partners, in inviting the Colorado community to walk together to create a more unified approach to solving the problems we face. The weekend was filled with leadership training, a service project in partnership with The GrowHaus , a community gathering with local leaders, student, and Native American youth dance performances, and a world peace flag ceremony to begin the “We Walk Together” campaign for Colorado.


Dr Ryan Ross


Visit | Dr. Ryan Ross

Dr. Ryan Ross, Associate Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, Equity and Inclusion, visited the Lakewood and Arvada campuses of Red Rocks Community College on March 20. While at Lakewood, he was given a tour that included the Idea Lab, Fine Woodworking workshop, the Hub Center for Engagement and Innovation, and the Student Rec Center He was able to meet with the Executive Team, the Director of Inclusion and Diversity, the Student Success Leadership Team, and the Food and Housing Insecurity Task Force at the Lakewood Campus. He then went on to the Arvada Campus for a tour and met with key campus administrators.


Guided pathways


Navigate | First Phase Launch

On March 6, Red Rocks Community College launched Navigate in conjunction with Guided Pathways to help current and new students find the path that is right for them. Navigate is a tool students are able to use to explore different career options, meet with their program specific advisor, and set long term goals to help them graduate without wasting money or time on classes they don’t need for their desired degree.




Awards | Endowed Teaching Chair

Congratulations to Elyse Marsh! On March 22, she was named the Red Rocks Community Colleges Endowed Teaching Chair. Elyse is the 25th recipient of the Mike Leprino Family Endowed Teaching Chair awarded by our Foundation office. At RRCC, we believe that student success is directly influenced by faculty excellence. We strive to deliver an exceptional educational experience to all students by recruiting, recognizing, and rewarding exceptional faculty. The RRCC Foundation Teaching Chair Program is the only multi-year faculty award in the Colorado Community College System. It is a meaningful way of recognizing and award outstanding faculty. The Mike Leprino Family and Coors Brewing Company endowed the first two chairs in 2001.




Awards | Cyber Security Regional Competition

Red Rocks Community College Cyber Team took 2nd place in the region at the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC). They represented the school with honor and integrity. The RRCC Cyber Team were the first ones in and last ones out of every meeting and proudly announced that they represented Red Rocks Community College. They fell short only to Utah Valley University (who took 1st), but beat University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, University of New Mexico, Regis, Pikes Peak Community College, and LDS Business College. Making them the best team to come out of Colorado while other teams had graduate level students. The team trained very hard for months in the IDEA Lab and their hard work paid off. We are very proud of them. Congratulations to our Cyber Defense Team!


Girls in Science


STEAM | Girls and Science

On March 2, Red Rocks Community College partnered with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to support Girls and Science. This event was created to connect k-12 students with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) areas of study. Red Rocks Community College educators Delia Ochoa and Barbra Sobhani were two of the guest speakers for Stories with Scientists at the event, attended by 7,400 Colorado residents.


February 2019

Rest & Relaxation (R&R) Lounge


R&R Lounge | Student Rec Center

Red Rocks Community College is constantly exploring innovative ideas and solutions to help our students and staff grow and succeed. We know that college life can be exhausting, so the Student Rec Center and the Student Success team implemented a new service to help our students and staff feel recharged. On January 30th, the Rest & Relaxation (R&R) Lounge opened at our Lakewood Campus. It is located near the Student Rec Center. The R&R Lounge provides a dark, quiet atmosphere that offers foam mats and pillows, giant bean bag chairs, and lounge chairs.

Tax Help Colorado


Get Ahead Colorado | Free Tax Preparation

Red Rocks Community College has partnered with Piton Foundation in aiding the community with Get Ahead Colorado. This free service provides tax preparation for families who make less than $55,000 a year. The Get Ahead Colorado Services will be offered every Saturday at Red Rocks Community College from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm March 16.

ribbon cutting at wheat ridge high school


Ribbon Cutting | Wheat Ridge High School

Recently, Wheat Ridge High School and the Red Rocks Community College Nurse Aide program have partnered to offer the CNA program to Wheat Ridge High School students. These are concurrent enrollment students who will earn their CNA certificates from RRCC in May. Students are enrolled in both NUA 101 and NUA 170 and complete their clinical rotations at Vivage Senior Living, which provides dedicated service to individuals needing post-acute rehabilitation or long-term care. After completion, students are eligible to take the Colorado State Board of Nursing Nurse Aide certification exam.

Best for vets 2019 by military times 2019


Military Times | Best for Vets College 2019

Military Times surveys hundreds of colleges across the country each year and ranks them in the areas of university culture, academic quality, outcomes, policies, student support, costs, and financial aid. This year, RRCC is ranked 16th among all two-year colleges in the United States.

arvada campus fitness center


Arvada Campus | Fitness Center

The Arvada Campus Fitness Center opened on February 18. The Fitness Center is located in the 5400 Building. Amenities include resistance training, dumbbells, kettlebells, and cardio machines. The hours are from 7:00 am to 8:30 am, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Healthy Minds Resource Center


HMRC | Room 1577

The Healthy Minds Resource Center is the new home to the existing Peer Counseling Program. The Healthy Minds Resource Center promotes the emotional well-being of students by providing peer support through private peer-to-peer coaching, stress relief activities, campus and community resources, and a safe non-judgmental space that is focused on mental health and emotional well-being. The Healthy Minds Resource Center came about in response to student surveys and focus groups aimed at improving the Peer Counseling Program and the services it offers. The Peer Counseling Program will continue to perform the role it has in the past, but will now be housed within this Resource Center.

January 2019

Arvada Chamber Bootcamp


Bootcamp | Arvada Chamber

The Red Rocks Community College Arvada Campus is now hosting a management training program. Aimed at local business owners who want to become better leaders, the program is held One day a month for 10 months. They are from various disciplines: retail, real estate, commercial, non-profit and faith-based. On January 10, 2019, Dr. Michele Haney, was one of three speakers asked to be on a panel to talk about "Strategic thinking, planning, and leadership." To share her insight and mentorship for those local business owners.


Cyber Security


Program | Cyber Security

Red Rocks Community College has a Cyber Security team whose mission is to advance learning with hands-on cyber security competitions. These competitions allow members to test their skills in real-world scenarios. On January 26, 2019, our Cyber Security team participated in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) qualifying event, where they finished in first play. They competed against, CU Boulder, CSU, Colorado School of Mines, University of New Mexico, US Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak Community College, LDS Business College (Salt Lake City), Utah Valley University, University of Wyoming, and Regis University. They move on to the regional event at Regis University in March!

IPE arvada campus


Collaborations | Across Campus

The Physicians Assistant Program and our Nursing Program team up throughout the semester for real-life scenario training, including well checks, sick visits, emergency room visits, and crisis situations. Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services team up for scenario training, including situations which may result in the use of pepper spray, accidents, assaults, and first responder training. Our Theatre and IDEA lab team up for performances. In preparation for the upcoming theatre production, She Kills Monsters, our theatre technology students and staff worked with members of the IDEA lab, to create the 3D printed dragon that will be used in the play.

HLC Visit


HLC | Update

In response to the recent HLC visit, we have received wonderful news that Red Rocks Community College met every core component and every criterion WITHOUT any concerns. Thank you to all of those that worked on the committee to prepare us for the visit.

Theatre Arts students


Theatre Arts | Regionals

A number of Theatre Arts and Dance students have been chosen to participate in the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival to be held at the University of Oregon in Eugene in February. The students were selected by festival respondents based on their performances and technical work connected to the fall production of The House of Yes, written by Wendy MacLeod and directed by David-Matthew Barnes.

LEA Graduation


LEA | Graduation

The Law Enforcement Academy held a graduation ceremony on December 11. Congratulations to all of the cadets that went through the program were hired on to Colorado Law Enforcement agencies, and have begun their career protecting and serving the citizens of Colorado. The Red Rocks Community College Law Enforcement Academy is an intensive instructional program that satisfies the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (POST) certification requirements.* Colorado Law requires that candidates for peace officer and parole positions be POST certified before they work as a law enforcement officer. Our graduates have gone on to join police departments, sheriff’s offices, and state agencies.

December 2018

Tsukuba Business College in Japan


Sister College | Developing Exchanges

On Monday, September 24, 2018, we welcomed guests from the Tsukuba Business College in Japan. The purpose of the visit was to explore the possibility of creating a sister college relationship with RRCC in the hope of developing student and faculty exchanges. While at RRCC, they enjoyed presentations from Linda Yazdani (International Exchanges), Joseph Murdock (Cyber Security), Wendy Bird (Business and Service Learning), and Delia Ochoa (AutoCAD). Tsukuba Business College is located northeast of Tokyo. The college specializes in Bridal Business, Integrated Business, Information Systems, Game Processing, Medical Office Assisting, and Visual Design.

PA Graduation 2018


PA Graduation | Class of 2018

Congratulations to the new graduates of our Physician Assistant Program. Their graduation ceremony was held on September 7th at the Arvada Center for the Arts.

Get it Done Breakfast


9th Annual | Get it Done Breakfast

Thank you to everyone who attended the AWRSAY’s 9th Annual Get it Done Breakfast, which was held Friday, September 28th at the Arvada Campus. AWRSAY stands for Arvada Wheat Ridge Service Ambassadors for Youth. This volunteer-driven organization provides support to students in the Arvada/Wheat Ridge area who have overcome a major life obstacle or adversity. They provide grants for students in grades 6-11 to help further their education/life, as well as provide scholarships for high schools seniors to attend RRCC.

Open Forum


LGBTQ Center | Ranked #4

Congratulations to our Inclusion and Diversity department. Ranked #4 By Best of the Best Community Colleges for being LGBTQ friendly. The LGBTQ Center at RRCC is a space for LGBTQIA+ community members and allies to come together to share resources, support, and discussion about topics relevant to the community.

Dr. Joe Garcia


Dr. Joe Garcia | Development Day

We were honored to have Dr. Joe Garcia join us as a guest speaker on the RRCC Lakewood campus on October 16th. Joe is the new president of the Colorado Community College System, as well as the former Lt. Governor of Colorado. As part of the All-College Development Day, Joe shared with the audience of RRCC faulty and staff personal stories about the obstacles he overcame as a student and how higher education played a key role in his path to success.

Dan Thoren


Dan Thoren | Donor Lunch

Dan Thoren, of Barber-Nichols Inc, was presented the Champions of Education Award by President Haney, BOD President Tom Menk, and Ron Slinger at the RRCC Donor Luncheon on October 12th.